CEFA's Constitutional Forum

Lately we’ve noticed the term ‘the rule of law’ being thrown around a lot. Most of the time the emphasis seems to be about ‘law and order’. It can be confusing as there are elements of law and order within the rule of law, under our Constitutional arrangements.

Wow! What a week for federalism in action. We even saw a bit of verbal argy bargy.

Most of us would think that our country is called ‘Australia’. Although, with our penchant for shortening words, these days you often hear us being called ‘Straya’. But if you flip open a copy of our Constitution you’ll notice that our official country name is the ‘Commonwealth of Australia’.

In the last few months we’ve seen the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) tweeting about the redistribution of electoral boundaries. It’s amazing to see the size of some the electorates.

New MP's in the 45th Parliament

Earlier this week the media reported that the discussion about moving to four-year fixed terms was back on the agenda.

We frequently receive feedback on social media lamenting that politicians are paid too much. CEFA staff are often asked many questions about our Constitution and system of government when attending social events and we always hear a whinge about pollies pay.

On Friday 27 January, President Trump signed Executive Order 13769 which is titled ‘Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States’. This Executive Order restricted people from seven countries from entering the United States.

On Monday 30 January the new Chief Justice of the High Court, Susan Kiefel AC was sworn in. As the 13th Chief Justice, she is the first female to be appointed to the role since the High Court began operating in 1903 through Chapter III of the Australian Constitution.

Police, bail justices and Magistrates in Australia work hard to ensure that bail legislation is applied fairly and correctly. The terrible event in Melbourne a week ago has left many Australians questioning bail laws. Why was the person who allegedly committed the crime free on bail? Five people are dead and many more were injured. Could we have prevented this?